*SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT*
Finally, the perfect Captain America movie is here.
And I don't use the word perfect lightly. For this comic fan, there is literally no better character study on what makes Steve Rogers the symbol he is today than Captain America: The First Avenger.
Let's take a look at why.
It all starts with Chris Evans. The guy absolutely owns the role of Captain America, so much so it brings tears to my eyes. This is Evans we're talking about here, the guy who played loveable douche-bags in Scott Pilgrim and Fantastic 4, surprising his haters by bringing some unexpected gravitas to a role as big as Steve Rogers. It's mind-blowing. At one point, Steve tries to enlist again after being denied a whopping five times, and he tells his friend Bucky, "There are men laying down their lives. I got no right to do any less than them." It's a simple line, but its the way Evans said it with such sincerity and nobility that sent shivers down my spine. He turned it into a defining moment, one of many throughout this movie, that showed Evans gets this character and fits him to a T.
The cast was great. No real stinkers or duds like previous Marvel films. Stanley Tucci was heartwarming-ly brilliant as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the inventor of the Super Soldier Serum and a momentary father figure to Steve Rogers. Hugo Weaving rocks as the Red Skull. Tommy Lee Jones was both hilarious and kickass. Even the Howling Commandos (at least, we comic fans know it's them) were equal parts funny and badass. I'm such a guy, of course, to highlight Hayley Atwell (bless her voluptuous heart) as special agent and Steve's love interest Peggy Carter. Her on-screen romance with Evans was one of the cutest I've seen in a Marvel film so far. I loved how old-school and natural it is. They don't make romance like they used to!
If anything takes away from the experience, it's how the entire movie rushes to the ending once Steve fully becomes Captain America, mighty shield and all. Most of Cap in action amounted to just cut scenes. And when the time came for the big showdown, the plot even goes as far as pointing out Red Skull's hideout out of the blue to get to the climax quicker. We don't really get to see Red Skull develop as a worthy nemesis for Captain America, save for a few parallels between them (both are products of the Super Soldier Serum), and the final showdown between Red Skull and Cap suffers because of it.
But then again, maybe that's not what the movie was going for. More than anything, Captain America: The First Avenger is an inspirational movie, filled with powerful moments that not only show Steve's rise to greatness as Captain America but also illustrates the attributes of what makes a good man.. If you don't openly weep during the final ten minutes of the movie, you are beyond saving.
A pitch perfect film no matter how you slice it. Captain America: The First Avenger is no less than the perfect superhero origin movie. You can quote me on that.